The Blue Kite Blog

How to Tie Marketing Measurement to Business Goals

By | March 23, 2015

Marketing measurement is one of the things that businesses struggle with most. Everyone wants to see results, but measuring the right things can be tricky.

Yes, we all want to move the sales and revenue meter, but there are a lot of numbers to track along the way to see if your efforts will actually drive results.

The problem is that quite often we get sucked into tracking vanity metrics or the numbers that are most easily available instead of the ones that tie back to business objectives.

That needs to change.

If you want to know if your marketing is working, you MUST get better at measurement.

How to Measure Your Marketing

If you read last week’s post about measuring your marketing, you know that I can’t tell you exactly which numbers to measure. It has to start with your business goals.

However, I’m going to run through some of the most common business objectives and metrics for various marketing efforts and give you some examples of what you should track. Because measurement is such and important topic, I wanted to give you a little bit deeper dive into how to do this.

We’re going to talk about key performance indicators, or KPIs, which should be a prediction of future success. In other words, paying attention to these numbers will give you a hint as to whether your overarching goals (i.e. leads and sales) will be met.

And, I’ll also share the outcomes or results you should be tracking as well. These are the things that most people know to track. But, it’s important to make sure these align with your goals.

Although all of these numbers will vary depending on the type of marketing effort you employ, this should give you a better idea of what to measure.

GOAL: Build Brand Awareness 

Brand awareness is one of the most common business objectives for marketing. Companies engage in this type of effort when they are new to the market or when they are struggling to get noticed in their industry. This objective is often a starting point for marketing efforts.

Although awareness isn’t the end goal, increased awareness is necessary to make progress toward those goals of leads and sales.

Key Performance Indicators for Awareness

There are a ton of KPIs you could track to measure awareness. And, this will depend largely on your marketing tactics. However, here is a run down of some of the most common KPIs you should track.

Website traffic: 

  • Visitors: In Google Analytics, this is called “Users.” This is the number of people who have visited your site in a given timeframe. Increased website traffic is one of the most simple and common ways to look at awareness.
  • Pages per visitor. Page views alone aren’t necessarily valuable. But, watching the number of pages a visitor views can be really helpful. The more pages someone visits, the more likely they are to engage with you further.
  • New visitors. If awareness is your goal, then watching this number is important for you. How many new visitors are coming to your site and how is this growing over time?
  • Organic search growth. Increased traffic from organic search – especially for branded keywords – can help you understand if people are searching for your brand.
  • Traffic sources. It’s important to pay attention to where you traffic is coming from because this will help you understand which efforts are driving results. For instance, are you getting traffic from social media or your pay-per-click ad campaign? Look at traffic by channel to better understand this. 

Social Media:

  • Follower growth. Although this can be a bit of a vanity metric, audience growth can be an indication of your awareness in the marketplace. Is your brand getting mentioned more on social media? Organic mentions of your company can be a great indication of increased awareness.
  • Shares and reach. Paying attention to how your content spreads can be a great indication of awareness. How many people are sharing your content? Here are even more ways to tie social media measurement to business goals.

Media Relations:

  • Brand mentions. Measuring the number of media hits alone isn’t enough, but it can help give you an indication of the reach of your brand. How many placements have you achieved? How often is your brand getting mentioned?
  • Traffic from articles. The bigger question is how much traffic is your media placements driving to your website. Track the website traffic that’s coming from your media hits to see if this effort is getting people to your site.

Results & Outcomes for Brand Awareness

For marketing efforts geared toward awareness, many of the KPIs also serve as the end goal. But, here are some additional outcomes you can track:

  • Reach. Although this can be a loaded number, measuring the reach of your campaign can help you see how many people saw your messaging. Oftentimes, these numbers are a bit bloated. That’s why it’s better to call this potential reach. But it can give an indication of how many were exposed to your brand.
  • Recall and recognition. A brand awareness survey could be one way you could test and see whether your awareness campaign helped introduce your brand to new people. You can measure how many people recall seeing your brand? Or, how many people have heard of your brand? This can help you measure success – especially if you do it at the beginning and end of your effort.
  • Revenue. Although an awareness effort won’t directly impact sales right away, it should improve this over time. How has revenue increased? Where is the revenue coming from? Find out how customers heard about you and attribute the revenue accordingly. This is a great indication of how your efforts are contributing to the bottom line.

GOAL: Drive Customer Retention and Loyalty

Your existing customer base is often the best source for increased revenue. This audience already knows you and they trust you enough to buy from you.

For many companies, your marketing effort may be geared toward keeping your existing customer base engaged and loyal. This turns into increased sales from this audience.

If your marketing efforts are geared to drive customer retention and increase loyalty, there are a number of metrics you can track to see if your efforts are working.

KPIs for Customer Retention: 

  • Social media engagement. Engagement alone is not a strategy. However, social media engagement can be a great indication of customer loyalty. How many of your customers are interacting with you on social media channels? How often do they mention you or refer you to others?
  • Content engagement. Much like social media, engagement with your content can also be an indication of loyalty. How you measure this will depend on how you use your content, but here is one example – you can measure the traffic and clicks to content you send to your customer base. 
  • Online reviews. People tend to leave a review when they are really pleased with an experience or extremely dissatisfied. Track the number of positive reviews you get from your customers. The customers that rave about you are most likely to stick around for the long haul.
  • Email campaign activity. If email marketing is part of your customer retention program, pay attention to campaign activity. Are customers opening your emails? Are they clicking through to your content? And, if you are an eCommerce company, are those customers purchasing from those emails?
  • Customer referrals. How often are people referring your business? Track the number of referrals your customers make to see how this will impact your revenue streams. 

Customer Retention Outcomes & Results: 

If your KPIs are leading indicators, outcomes are your lagging indicators. These numbers measure the results you’re ultimately trying to achieve. 

  • Overall revenue. If you’re focusing on improving customer loyalty, you should see overall revenue increase. This would be a number to watch for this goal. 
  • Average sale per customer. If you’re trying to increase customer loyalty and sales within this segment, look at the average amount purchased by customer. If you’re doing this right, you should see this number go up.
  • Repeat sales. Are you seeing customers come back again and again? Pay attention to the number of sales with a customer. See if there is a way to track how often they buy from you and focus on getting this number to increase.
  • Referral sales. Loyal customers tell others. That’s why you should track the number of sales from referrals. Word of mouth is often the most common lead source for businesses, so it makes sense to track how much of your revenue is coming from this method.

GOAL: Increase Leads & Sales

If you are an established company with awareness in the marketplace, your goal might be increasing your revenue through more sales. This is really what most companies want, right? They want to see more customers and increased revenue.

If you’re going to embark on this kind of effort, you must make sure your marketing efforts and the metrics you track match your goals. For this kind of effort, your focus is more on conversions. It’s less about the traffic you’re driving to your website and more about how many people are converting once you get there.

Key Performance Indicators for Sales:

Here are some examples of KPIs you should track, and you’ll notice they largely focus on conversions:

  • Email Subscriptions. How many people subscribe to your blog or join your mailing list? Increases here can help drive opportunities for further engagement and sales. 
  • Content downloads. Do you offer an eBook, white paper, free course or video? The number of downloads of your premium content is a good number to track as theses folks are “hand raisers” who could turn into qualified leads. It also makes sense to pay attention to the conversion rate on these pages. What percentage of people who viewed the landing page are filling it out? Paying attention to this number will help you find ways to optimize your efforts. 
  • Registrations, trials and demos. If your company offers a way to sign up for a free trial or a demo, you should track this information diligently. These are people who want to know more about your offering and count as a potential lead for your business. 
  • Contact form conversions. If your website is geared to drive someone to contact you, pay attention to the number of contact form completions you get on your website. Again, conversion rates here are important to monitor. 

Outcomes & Results for Leads and Sales:

We already know that the outcome you want to achieve is increased revenue. But, here are some additional specifics around these metrics:

  • Leads. Track the number of qualified leads you get from your marketing efforts. This number won’t necessarily sync with the numbers above because these are leads that you have talked to or have qualified in some way.
  • Sales & Revenue. Obviously, if the goal is to drive sales, you should track this. Pay attention to the overall revenue, the number of sales you make and the average size of the sale.
  • Length of sales cycle. One thing that marketing can do is to help decrease the length of your sales cycle. Pay attention to how long it takes to close a deal from leads that come through these marketing efforts. If you can decrease the length of your sales cycle, this will help you increase the number of sales you can make. 

I know this is a lot of information to digest. The good news is that not all of this will apply to you and your business. That’s the point – pick and choose what you need to measure!

My hope is that this helps you better understand which metrics to track based on your company’s goals and the marketing efforts you implement. If you take the time to understanding which metrics to track at the beginning of your effort, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving success. Plus, you will be able to tweak and adjust based on the KPIs you are tracking along the way.

What questions do you have? How can I help you with your marketing measurement? Leave your question in the comment section or click here to drop my a line and I’ll be happy to help.

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